Praised for her “stylish” singing (Opera Magazine) and the “emotional force” (The Times) of her performances, mezzo-soprano Joanna Harries enjoys a varied career in both opera and recital.

Born in New Zealand and raised in Wales, Joanna was a choral scholar at the University of Cambridge before training at the Royal Northern College of Music, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and National Opera Studio. Her repertoire stretches from baroque to contemporary, including roles such as Dido Dido and Aeneas (Purcell), Medoro Orlando and Ottone Agrippina (Handel), Cherubino Le Nozze di Figaro and Zerlina Don Giovanni (Mozart), Hélène Une éducation manquée (Chabrier), Varvara Kat’a Kabanova and Karolka Jenůfa (Janáček), the Drummer Der Kaiser von Atlantis (Ullmann), and Sāvitri Sāvitri (Holst). Her concert repertoire encompasses the major works of Bach, Handel, Haydn and Mozart, as well as Durufle, Dvorak and Vaughan Williams.


In the 2022/23 season Joanna makes her debut with Opera Rara and the London Philharmonic Orchestra as Finocchini in Offenbach’s La Princesse de Trébizonde at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, and with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican as the mezzo soloist in Paul Rissmann’s Through the Looking Glass suite.

Opera roles this season include Lucinda La forza dell’amor paterno for The Barber Opera, Contessa Ceprano Rigoletto for Opera Holland ParkDeborah Robinson Crusoe for West Green House Opera and Medoro Orlando at Buxton International Festival with the Liberata Collective. Concerts include mezzo soloist for the Mozart Requiem with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Brighton Festival Chorus at Cadogan Hall, a series of recitals for Opera Prelude and returning to Oxford Lieder and Leeds Lieder with SongPath.


In the 2021/22 season Joanna was a Young Artist at the National Opera Studio in London, performing scenes as Cherubino, Idamante, Ruggiero, Le Prince Charmant and Cenerentola with the orchestras of English National OperaWelsh National OperaOpera North and Scottish Opera.

Concerts this season included a tour of Scandinavian Song with pianist Sholto Kynoch for Oxford Lieder, a Britten Pears Young Artist recital with Sarah Connolly and Joseph Middleton at Snape Maltings, and a series of recitals for Opera Prelude. Joanna was awarded a Sybil Tutton Opera Award and Tait Memorial Trust Award, and was a finalist in the inaugural Boosey & Hawkes SingFinzi competition.


During her studies Joanna performed with companies including Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, Opera Holland Park, Grange Park Opera, Longborough Festival Opera and British Youth Opera, and was an Emerging Artist for the Royal Opera House “Opera Dots” performances for children. As concert soloist she has performed at Snape Maltings Concert Hall, with the BBC Philharmonic at Harrogate Royal Hall, at the Bach Festival Świdnica in Poland and in recital at Handel House (as a Handel House Talent artist), Pushkin House and the National Portrait Gallery. She was awarded the Edith Brass Prize for Lieder at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Joanna is in demand as a interpreter of contemporary music. She has created new opera roles including Prometheus in Tim Benjamin’s The Fire of Olympus, Tartine in David Blake & Keith Warner’s Scoring a Century for British Youth Opera, Awen (cover) in Pwyll ap Sion’s Gair ar Gnawd for Welsh National OperaGirl/Psychiatrist in Scott Stroman & Tamsin Collison’s Fever Pitch and Diana in The Weekend based on the play by Michael Palin. She has also premiered works by composers Lucy Armstrong (Cheese at the Bridgewater Hall), Melissa Douglas (Sonnet 116 at the John Ryland’s Library, Manchester), Michael Betteridge (Dawn Chorus at the Royal Exchange Theatre), and Anna Appleby (winning composition, 2015 Rosamond Prize). She performed as vocal soloist in the UK revival of Steve Reich’s video opera Three Tales (Ensemble BPM) and has collaborated with performance artist Maeve Rendle at Manchester Art Gallery, The Whitworth and the Harris Museum in Preston.

Joanna runs SongPath with co-founder Jess Dandy – a mental health initiative bringing together music, nature and mental health in specially curated outdoor events, alongside free workshops with local mental health charities. Since 2019 they have taken SongPath to Cumbria (Ulverston International Music Festival), Yorkshire (Leeds Lieder) and Oxfordshire (Oxford Lieder). Joanna was awarded a Royal Philharmonic Society Enterprise Award to develop the podcast Songs of the River.

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